smb acceleration of tech
embracing technology to ensure their future
Many SMBs say their business survived the pandemic because of digitization
In the fifth edition of the Salesforce “Small and Medium Business Trends” report, it’s clear that more and more small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are embracing technology, convinced their survival depends on it. Responses from more than 2,500 SMB owners and leaders around the world showed:
Support from local communities desperately helped many SMBs
SMBs are prioritizing their efforts to deepen trust with customers and employees
Technology helped many SMBs sustain and even grow their businesses
Changes over the past year including investments in technology will continue to positively impact SMBs over the long-term
The survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll for Salesforce in June/July 2021 with owners or senior executives at businesses with 200 or less employees and annual revenues less than $1 billion (US dollars). Check out the infographic summarizing the digital technology trends from the report.
Despite ongoing restrictions of in-person patronage, communities have rallied in support of SMBs. As a result, SMBs are responding by getting their businesses online so that customers can shop from the comfort of home. While most SMBs have at least some of their operations online, many made significant moves online in the past year for the safety and convenience of their customers and employees.
It’s clear that technology has made a big difference for SMBs. Most growing SMBs said their businesses survived the pandemic because of technology. And the investment in technology is not slowing down. Many growing SMBs have accelerated their efforts in order to realize benefits of increased productivity, enhanced flexibility, and increased data security.
More than 60% of SMB leaders said their businesses would not have survived the pandemic using technology from a decade ago. There’s no doubt that tech usage saw an increase, spurred on after a year of remote work and optimizing online customer experiences.
The technologies that SMBs continued to invest in were customer service software, email marketing software, and eCommerce software with project/collaboration tools seeing the biggest increase. Now nearly three in five growing SMBs use each of these tools and more than half accelerated investments specifically in sales and customer service technology.
With the investments made in the past year, SMBs feel they are stronger and more efficient than ever before. Three-quarters of SMB leaders believe the changes that they have made because of the pandemic will continue to benefit them in the future and many are intending to make many of them permanent.